Sheff United fuming as McBurnie and teammate charged after Forest pitch invasion

Sheffield United duo Oli McBurnie and Rhian Brewster have been charged in connection with an incident during the pitch invasion following their play-off defeat to Nottingham Forest.

The home fans stormed the pitch at The City Ground after watching their side beat the Blades on penalties in the semi-finals of the Championship play-offs last month. Skipper Billy Sharp was assaulted as he stood pitch-side, while there were further flash points involving players.

McBurnie and Brewster were spoken to afterwards and have now been charged by Nottinghamshire Police, a United club statement confirmed. It read: “Sheffield United Football Club is disappointed to learn that Rhian Brewster and Oli McBurnie have been charged following the incidents that took place at the EFL Championship play-off semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest last month.

“Both players voluntarily engaged in interviews with Nottinghamshire Police in the aftermath of the fixture which saw their team-mate, Billy Sharp, the victim of assault in the chaos which followed the final whistle.

"Brewster and McBurnie strenuously deny the charges brought against them and football manager Paul Heckingbottom, who wrote letters to the League Managers’ Association, the Professional Footballers’ Association, the EFL and FA following a number of pitch invasions last month, including one involving Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira, is continuing discussions with key stakeholders in a bid to better protect players and staff in their place of work.”

There was a spate of incidents during pitch invasions towards the back end of the 2021/22 English football season. As alluded to in United's statement, Palace boss Vieira was involved in an altercation with an Everton fan.

Luton Town defender James Bree was hit on the head following their defeat to Huddersfield Town in the other Championship semi-final. And the League 2 play-offs also saw some ugly scenes when Swindon Town players were surrounded by celebratory Port Vale fans.

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